Cluster headaches are frequent, recurring headaches that can cause immense pain in patients. In this article, we are going to dive into the topic of cluster headaches and discuss their causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
What Causes Cluster Headaches?
Cluster headaches are intense headaches that recur on a daily basis for an extended period of time. Cluster headaches can happen 1-3 times per day over the course of several weeks or months. Often, these headache attacks recur along seasonal lines (i.e. a patient may only experience them in the Spring or Fall). The precise cause of cluster headaches is not understood, but we do know that they are related to a nerve at the base of the brain called the trigeminal nerve.
Symptoms of cluster headaches can include any of the following:
- Pain located right behind the eye
- Pain that stays on one side of the head
- Pain that feels like burning or stabbing
- Head pain that lasts for as little as 15 minutes, and as long as a couple hours, only to stop and recur again later in the day
Since there are several different types of headaches, it’s important to differentiate the symptoms to properly diagnose the cluster headaches.
Treating Cluster Headaches
Cluster headaches are similar to migraine headaches in their severity, but cluster headaches typically do not last as long as migraines. There are various treatment options available to patients suffering from cluster headaches. Pain killers may provide temporary pain relief, but don’t really address the core problem. Certain prescription drugs can help in the prevention of cluster headaches. In severe cases, surgery can be performed to block the trigeminal nerve.
If you are dealing with cluster headaches, seek treatment from a qualified pain management specialist as soon as possible. The pain doctors at Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of MN have a 20 year track record of successfully treating patients for headache pain. Our clinic is located in Edina, but we treat patients throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Contact us today to set up your appointment and get on the road to a pain free life.